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The Top Options for Childcare

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When you go back to work after maternal or paternal leave, it's a big decision to choose where your child will spend his or her days in your absence. It's important to look at factors like location, cost and learning opportunities while choosing. Here are several childcare options you might consider in your search:

Daycare

One of the most common childcare services is daycare. These centers provide a safe environment in which kids who are too young to attend school can spend the day while their parents are at work. Some accept infants as young as a month while others specialize in working with older kids. Many people wonder about the difference between preschool and daycare. If it's a good daycare, there should be few differences. This is because quality daycares provide education while caring for your kids. Instead of just letting the children run around all day and play with toys, look for a daycare that offers learning opportunities like classes during the day. This will set your little ones up for success once they are old enough to move on to kindergarten. 

preschool, daycare, childcarePreschoolers prepare for kindergarten by learning numbers, shapes and colors.

Preschool

Most preschools are set up for four to five-year-olds who are not yet ready to to start kindergarten. This form of childcare is often just for half a day and teaches kids basics like shapes, colors, numbers and how to write their own names. Many little ones who are excited about following their older siblings to school flourish in preschool as they are excited to have their own chance to learn in class. Preschool is a great place for kids to prepare for kindergarten, and you may even find a preschool at the school your child will attend when he or she turns five. If you work odd hours, this may not be an option for your family as preschools typically operate on a regular school schedule with each day divided into halves. Preschoolers also get holidays off, which may affect your schedule and require you to have another method of childcare for those days.

A nanny or babysitter

Some families prefer to have an individual come to their home to provide childcare. Nannies, au pairs or babysitters all have similar positions as they entertain, feed and keep your kids safe at home. Some higher level nannies may offer education opportunities such as teaching your kids a language or tutoring them on schoolwork. Nannies and babysitters are often the most flexible childcare providers and can come from every day at specific hours to only when they're needed. These individuals may charge similar fees to a daycare center or a preschool, so be sure to consider costs as you make this big decision. You can ask friends who they use as nannies or use services that hire well-trained and highly recommended childcare providers to make this search much easier and ensure you're hiring the right fit for your family.

Making the step to use childcare for your kids can be daunting, but don't hesitate to shop around and ask questions. You'll feel better leaving your kids when you know they're in good hands.

 
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